2015 Barbados Junior Robotics Camp an overwhelming success

2015 Barbados Junior Robotics Camp an overwhelming success

The 2015 inaugural four-week Junior Robotics Camp organised by the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) Volunteers for Barbados has been hailed as a success. The camp was conducted over the period July 6-31, 2015 at the facilities of the UWI Barbados. Twenty-one eager and excited students between the ages of 9 and 12 participated in the camp. The final Showcase of the robots was held on Friday July 31 at the 3W’s Oval on the UWI campus in an event that was open to the public. Over 50 people were in attendance, including the parents of the campers.

Interim Executive Director of the CSF Professor Cardinal Warde said the camp was a “grassroots effort” by a group of dedicated Barbadians (and one Grenadian) who want to facilitate Barbados’ efforts in harnessing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for economic development. The Camp was offered in partnership with UWI Barbados which provided the use of its facilities. Sponsors of the camp included the Barbados Ministry of Labor, Social Security and Human Resource Development, and the City of Bridgetown Credit Union.A key objective ofrobotics_camp_explaining-robot.jpg the camp was to engage the minds of the children in fun-filled activities where they collaborated in teams to design and operate simple and then more complex robots. All the movements of the robots were run by software formulated and programmed by the students.
Ian Francis-Death Machine.jpg

“By all measures, it was a tremendous success. It far exceeded my expectations for a pilot programme,” Professor Warde told parents and students at a closing ceremony and exhibition. “The students turned out to be faster learners than the facilitators had expected. These students are the most excited bunch I have seen in a while,” he remarked.

The camp was carefully supervised by a team of coaches. The students were introduced to basic engineering and technology concepts. They were taught to design and operate simple devices such as catapults made from sticks and rubber bands and graduated to assembling mobile transportation vehicles and writing the software programming for their functionality to move and lift objects. “While no previous experience in robotics was required of the students, this pilot targeted children who are passionately interested in STEM and enjoy hands-on work,” said CSF Assistant Director Lois Oliver.
The junior robotics camp is consistent with the CSF’s primary goals of: (1) helping to increase the numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering, (2) helping to diversify the economies of the region, and (3) helping to stimulate more technology-based entrepreneurship within the region, thereby raising the standard of living of the people. Professor Warde expressed warm appreciation for the support provided by the partners and sponsors, and indicated that the pilot project had laid the groundwork for an expanded 2016 camp.

Planning Committee

NAME

Mr. David Thorpe

Dr. Ramona Archer Bradshaw

Dr. Cathy Radix

Ms. Irene Stephney

Ms. Gail Niles

Ms. Lois Oliver

Ms. Geralyn Walkes

Mr. Hallam Hope

TITLE

Senior Software Engineer, Intelligent Automation Inc., MD, USA

Tutor, Science, Erdiston Teachers’ Training College, Barbados

Lecturer, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UWI, T & T

Attorney at law, Barbados

Co-owner- Indigo Stationery & Gifts, Barbados

Assistant Director, Caribbean Science Foundation

Word Works Inc., Barbados

Managing Director, CARITEL/Hope Communications Inc., Barbados

 
Coaches and Facilitators
NAME

Ms. Catherine Gibson (Coach)

Ms. Camille Pounder (Coach)

Mr. Philip Moore

Mr. Roydon Richards

Mrs. Trudy Carter

Mr. Ryan Sisnett

Ms. Sanchia Bayley

Mr. Shedeur Parris

Mr. Maurice Beckles

TITLE

Tutor Erdiston Teachers’ Training College

Math Teacher, Ellerslie Secondary School

Physics Teacher, Queens College

Lecturer, Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic

Teacher, St. Joseph Primary School

Teacher,  Roland Edwards Primary

Teacher, Westbury Prinary School

Physics Teacher, Combermere School

I.T. Technician, Faculty of Science and Technology, UWI Cave Hill

Media Coverage of the Camp:
CSF Robotics Camp a Success by Hallam Hope 1 August 2015
Junior robot builders all! Barbados Today,1 August 2015

 

More details about the Barbados Junior Robotics Camp can be found here

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    Caribbean Science Foundation

    CARICOM Research Building
    UWI Cave Hill Campus
    Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
    Telephone: 1-246-417-7493
    E-mail: csfhdq@gmail.com

    For further information, please contact:
    Prof. Cardinal Warde
    warde.csf@gmail.com